Saturday, April 20, 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon 2013 Overview Part 1- Plus tips I wish someone told me!

First off, Let me just say, we probably did EVERYTHING, you're not SUPPOSED to do for a marathon. Even though I was a marathon newbie the circumstances that led up to the race didn't allow for a lot of  what is called "marathon prepping"

The move from Hawaii was arranged around the same weekend (why not kill two birds with one stone and save on air fare). The flight left The Big island of Hawaii at 9:15 am on Thursday and landed in Orlando, Florida 6am Friday morning.

There had been some debate whether we should go cheap, arrange a hotel off the resort and use a rental car all a little bit extra (it actually saved money) and stay at a Budget Disney Resort. LET ME TELL YOU.. that is THE FIRST thing I talk about when I talk about the marathon weekend. IT WAS AMAZING. (Real quick side note*) * There was once an incident at the LA marathon where we spent 2 hours in traffic trying to get to the start and one ended up having to jump out on the car on the free ramp to not miss the start of the race....Getting to the race, stresses me out more than the actual race itself.*

OK... So... The arrival was SO EARLY, we were the ONLY ones on the shuttle that took us to our resort. When we checked in, there were no lines (after breakfast and a nap we came back down to use a shuttle and there was a line out the door around noon)

SO.. TIP #1. Do your research!!! Everything is about "Location, location, location" Because of the resort there was never a worry about food (there was a huge cafeteria on site, they were open at 3am every day that weekend for the runners AND had pasta tailored menu the day before the race, cheaper then pasta in the park)....SO..look for the low budget resorts that Disney has to offer...
All Star Music Resort

I splurged one morning and got was SO CUTE!

 ALSO...They offer shuttle services TO and FROM the marathon.. (I heard the hallelujah chorus) stress at all getting to and from the race as WELL as the expo, no stress about parking... traffic... or getting to/from the airport....

They even carried the 6 suitcases we had (again..we were moving from Hawaii 2 checked a piece, 2 carryons...and a backpack)

I did LOTS of number crunching and with finding our own place and a rental car VS the budget resort we actually saved money.

OK.. So on to the EXPO...
...So I was SUPER excited about the Expo...but I knew it was going to be BUSY...It was wall to wall people.

The bag pick up was a very simple and fast process. The bag contents were ok. Having ran the Princess run last year I wasn't expecting much. It came with the Blue tech shirt (shown above), a race brochure, a tattoo of the WDW symbol, I think a small crunch bar, and a few pamphlets. The expo itself, again, very similar to the Princess race. I don't usually buy anything major at the expos, I DID find a really cool "I did it " long sleeve shirt I purchased. They DID have a pretty cool booth where you stood in front of screen and you got to hold the medals. You printed out a picture and it had Mickey behind you at the finish line. I didn't want to give the medal back, but I knew I would own one soon!

Saturday was pretty awesome! I met up with one of my sorority sisters, who works at the parks, and was able to provide park hopper tickets to Epcot and Animal Kingdom! It was pretty awesome! ( again.. probably shouldn't had walked all day the day BEFORE a marathon! LOL)

 We were there until the park closed...I HAD to see the Illuminations Fireworks show at EPCOT, it's my favorite...I haven't seen it since 8th grade. I actually use the song from the show in my running playlist!

The park closed at the time we got back to the bus, hotel, packed, got everything ready for the was midnight.....the alarm for the race went off at 2:30. AGAIN with 5 time zone changes, 22 hours of flying, 8-10 hours of walking the previous day..I am saying..nothing in that last sentence is what is told to be done before a marathon..LOL

SO... I had to break this up into 2 posts.. SO.. Please look for Part 2 for actual race day! :)

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